I 25 yr old male from Lagos, Nigeria. I have been having frequent malaria since 2006 till present. My symptoms are always weakness of the body, feeling cold sometimes not always and also my mouth got better most cases. I have been to the hospital several times and the doctor told me my frequent malaria is because my blood genotype is AA and also am having a malaria parasites. I was given drugs and injection in most cases. It got to a stage I had to stop consulting the doctor and start making use of self description because the malaria goes and comes back and its cost me much money in going to the hospital every time.
The weakness is always my problem because will be restless and unable to study well even during my exams. I remember there was a period I sat down in front of my house and started crying cos I was fed up on getting weak during Xmas period while my mates were having fun. I also remember cases where I walked into one of the biggest pharmacy in my area and ask the guy which malaria drugs is the most expensive cos I was thinking the most expensive should be the most effective. He brought out some drugs which I paid some money.
I was free from malaria for the past 4 months not of recent I started having heavily symptoms mentioned above. I have taken several drugs like chloroquine 2-2-1 and Combisunate(arthmeter and lumefactrine),still yet no positive response.The Cold had stopped but my body is till getting weaker. I am just confuses don’t know what to do. I even thought of going for a HIV test soon cos I believe am not the only AA that stays in House. Others, I mean some of my family and neigbours do have often and it disappears immediately after taking some drugs.
I am fed up seriously and really don’t know what to do again.I hope you can help.
Thanks for your question. Getting infected with malaria doesn’t have anything to do with whether you are blood type A or O or anything else. Some people do have natural resistance to some types of malaria—for example a lot of people in sub-Saharan Africa are “Duffy negative” which means they are resistant to Plasmodium vivax malaria; other people carry the sickle cell gene, which also provides some protection.
However, it is not common to have so many repeated attacks of malaria. The first thing to do is to make sure you are protecting yourself sufficiently from mosquito bites. You can’t get malaria if you aren’t bitten by mosquitoes, and the type of mosquitoes that transmit malaria usually bite at night. As such, it is crucial to sleep every night under a long-lasting insecticide treated bednet. If you have one, it might need to be re-dipped in insecticide to make sure it keeps working effectively. Also, you should make sure all your windows and doors are properly screened to prevent mosquitoes from coming in; many people also do something called “indoor residual spraying” where they spray insecticide on the walls inside their house to kill any mosquitoes which might come in. If you live in an urban area, this might not be necessary if you can get good screens, or indeed if you have air conditioning (mosquitoes do not like cooler environments). Finally, you should try to wear long-sleeved clothing in the evenings and at night, again to stop mosquitoes from biting.
Finally, I think it is important to make sure that you are diagnosed properly. In many places I have been to, hospitals don’t do a proper check, but if someone has even a few of the symptoms of malaria, they just give them treatment. This is not good—you need a proper diagnosis, both to see what kind of malaria you have (so you can get appropriate treatment) and also to make sure you actually have malaria, and not something else which is being ignored because they think you have malaria!
In fact, your symptoms of fatigue, weakness and cold are not very typical of malaria, which is usually characterized by very high fever interspersed with chills, nausea and body aches. As such I think you might want to talk to a doctor about other possible explanations for your symptoms, especially since they are so persistent.
Finally, in Nigeria, you should NOT be given chloroquine to treat malaria, unless your case is confirmed as not being caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Virtually all the Plasmodium falciparum in Africa is resistant to chloroquine, and so it is no longer an effective treatment. Instead, first-line treatment for malaria is recommended as an artemisinin-based combination therapy, such as Combisunate which you mention above.